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Sycamore Canyon

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Paradise Forks 
Volunteer Canyon 
Whitetail Canyon 

Sycamore Canyon Rock Climbing 


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Elevation: 7,000'
Location: 35.10003, -111.9655 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 63,859
Administrators: Greg Opland, JJ Schlick, Hendrixson, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: JJ Schlick on Jan 24, 2012
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MArk Hawthorne placing gear at the start of the cr...

Description 

Sycamore Canyon is a massive Mogollon Rim drainage tucked away in a thick Ponderosa pine forest, just south of Garland Prairie. Timeless crags such as Paradise Forks, Volunteer Canyon, "The land of a thousand climbs" Sycamore Point, and a newer addition, Whitetail Canyon, are all found on the rim of Sycamore Canyon. These columnar basalt canyons are home to some of the best hard rock crack climbing in Arizona.

Climbing at Volunteer Canyon and Paradise Forks began in the middle 1970's with true ground up endeavors usually involving splitter hand and fist cracks. However, Paradise Forks stole the spolight due to the long alluring crack climbs, and all around easy, year round access. Many of the classic lines were done on passive gear, and maybe an occasional pin. The first ascents of these routes were truly inspired outings, when you think about the parallel sided cracks which make the Forks such a treasure.

Paradise Forks has matured, and filled out with a ton of classics over the last four decades. Generations of bold climbers have come and gone, and every one has left a history of hard, spicy climbing. The Forks is known for down home crack jamming, and for the thinner, technical routes which often come with heart racing ratings. This is a crag where you can get your first taste of "5.9 Hands", or find a head point project to up your ante.

Rock Climbing Photo: Ben Zeiger-Haag on Bladerunner, Paradise Forks
Ben Zeiger-Haag on Bladerunner, Paradise Forks


Volunteer Canyon has a big feel to it, and is somewhat wild when compared to The Forks. Many of the lines done here in the 1970's, and modern day classics alike, require rapping into very specific belays, due to the architecture of the walls and lines. One way or the other, you gotta climb out. Whether that's climbing the route, or jugging up your rap line in defeat. However, the jagged, hypnotizing beauty of the canyon is undeniable, as well as, the long, striking lines.


Rock Climbing Photo: Nearing the end of crux #1 on my first lead attemp...
Nearing the end of crux #1 on my first lead attempt. Volunteer Canyon.
Wade Forrest photo

Getting There 

Follow directions for the individual crags.

Climbing Season



Weather station 14.1 miles from here

193 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',29],['3 Stars',111],['2 Stars',39],['1 Star',14],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',1],['5.7',2],['5.8',8],['5.9',28],['5.10',54],['5.11',57],['5.12',37],['5.13',6],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Sycamore Canyon

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Sycamore Canyon:
The Black Rose   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 70'   Paradise Forks : The Obsidian Wall
Mayflower   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 90'   Paradise Forks : The Prow
Fool's Game   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 90'   Paradise Forks : The Prow
Lost Highway   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 130'   North Side : Tralfamadore Buttress
Jolly Roger   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   Paradise Forks : The Prow
East Of Eden   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 110'   Paradise Forks : The Gold Wall
Raindance   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 110'   Paradise Forks : Raindance Buttress
Loose Lips   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Paradise Forks : Davidson Wall
Torpedo   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   Paradise Forks : Davidson Wall
The Prow   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch   Paradise Forks : The Prow
Sindarete   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 125'   South Side : Memorial Wall
Phantasm   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 90'   South Side : West End Wall
Gold Finger   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Trad   Paradise Forks : The Gold Wall
Three Turkeys   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   Paradise Forks : Davidson Wall
Davidson Dihedral   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 55'   Paradise Forks : Pillow Wall
Mutiny on the Bounty   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   Paradise Forks : The Prow
Paradise Lost   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a PG13     Trad, 1 pitch, 90'   Paradise Forks : Davidson Wall
Nyctophiliac    5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 125'   South Side : West End Wall
Ice Cream Dreams, AKA Acid Test Crack   5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b PG13     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Paradise Forks : The Gold Wall
The Equalizer   5.13- 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E7 6c R     Trad, 1 pitch, 90'   Paradise Forks : Davidson Wall
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Sycamore Canyon

Featured Route For Sycamore Canyon
Rock Climbing Photo: Death Dealer

Death Dealer 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b  AZ : Northern Arizona : ... : East End Wall
Death Dealer is a classic and varied basalt pitch. It begins with a powerful layback, moves into technical climbing on unique holds around a thin seam, and finishes on a one-of-a-kind boulder problem on crisp basalt edges....[more]   Browse More Classics in AZ

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